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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Texting trend revamps communication

While his eyes dart back and forth between his phone and the teacher, the teen anxiously presses his phone?s keys as he tells his friend about his late-night escapades.

Text messaging has emerged as a quick and convenient form of communication. With such a vast amount of phones, monthly bills often run higher than expected because of this developing trend.

?Everyone has a cell phone nowadays,? Matt Tatarian, ?05, said. ?At first kids overused purchased minutes, now they?re overusing text messaging. I?ve gotten in trouble before for going over my limit?

Janet Kornblum, reported in her June 4, 2003, USA Today article that the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association claims that text messaging in the United States has grown from 33 million messages sent in June 2001 to more than 1 billion in December 2002 (www.usatoday.com/tech/news).

?I?ve run up text messaging bills to triple digits,? Brandon Diaso, ?05, said. ?You forget to keep track of how many you send and receive. It adds up really fast and ultimately blindsides you.?

Companies have helped the consumer counter the addiction with text message plans. The user pays a small fee and is given a certain amount of text messages per month.

?I have a text message plan,? Tatarian, said. ?I get 100 messages a month for about 4 dollars. It keeps me in line and helps me not go over my limit.?

While parents often worry about excessive bills, cheating has become another ethical issue.

?We?ve caught kids cheating with their phones,? Jon Endicott, vice principal, said. ?Kids have taken pictures of tests and mailed answers to friends in the next class. Cheating is cheating, regardless of new technology that makes it easier.?

James Katz, a professor of communications at Rutgers University, held an informal survey that demonstrated that about half the students with text-enabled phones have used them in class. A substantial minority says they know of others who have used texting to cheat (www.usatoday.com/tech/news).

?It?s tempting to cheat,? Kelsey Boogusch, ?06, said. ?But having an easy method doesn?t make it OK to compromise my character. Cheating will hurt you in the long run.?

With nearly impossible to detect cheating methods, teachers have a difficult time monitoring classrooms.

?Teachers are doing their best to keep students from cheating, ? Endicott said. ?Using new strategies and enforcing punishment will make it harder for students to cheat.?

While the majority of incidents occur in high schools, colleges remain susceptible to the cell phone threat.

?I don?t allow my students to have cell phones in my classroom,? Dr. Bob Arnold, a professor at Fresno State, said. ?It keeps them from cheating on my tests, and allows me to maintain control of my classroom.?

For more information about text messages go to USA Today’s website.

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